Q&A 4:  What does healing from spiritual trauma look like?


Healing from spiritual trauma looks differently for everyone. I know that this looks like I am trying to weasel out of this. It has been my experience that what I say is healing for me, may not be healing from another’s perspective. I want to know what you envision healing to be for you. From this, we can do some “reality testing” to see how it can hold up in your environment. To have the expectation that your experience will NEVER affect you is unrealistic. You can live with the effects, and in many ways, this can help you have greater understanding and compassion for those who have been through this. As you heal, you can help others through their spiritual trauma, because you know how different this is from other traumas, and how frequently others who have not been through this DO NOT understand it, like you do.


For me, my healing still has a remnant of the experiences I went through. Certain songs will get me, phrases hit me in the gut, and it still takes a measure of courage for me to even walk into certain bookstores. In many ways, it helps me remember that there are people out there who still need connection and healing, and to remember what it was like to not be believed or understood helps me to move forward to help others. I don’t want to attack “them” anymore, although I did for a long time. I thought that ALL OF THEM were the enemy, much like they communicated that “people like me” were the enemy. I don’t know if it is about forgiveness as much as it is taking care to not personally behave and/or become like the behaviors and attitudes I don’t like.


I think one of the key factors in spiritual trauma is behaving as though one’s actions and morals are superior to another’s, and enforcing this on others.   I can express my feelings about a behavior (such as talking about someone behind their back), and if they change this behavior (at least around me), it’s ok. If they don’t change it, it’s ok, too. And it’s ok for me to choose to not be around that.


So, to answer this question, I need to know what you want for yourself in terms of healing. From this, we can get there.